Effectiveness of multifocal intraocular lenses to correct presbyopia after cataract surgery: a randomized controlled trial

Ophthalmology. 2004 Oct;111(10):1832-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2004.05.023.


Purpose: Although monofocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) are effective in improving vision after cataract surgery, the loss of accommodation is not restored by implantation of these IOLs. Because multifocal IOLs may improve uncorrected distance and near vision, we compared the clinical outcome and patient satisfaction after implantation of monofocal and multifocal IOLs. Sociodemographics, eagerness for spectacle independence (ESI), and neuroticism were tested as predictors of satisfaction.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Participants: Cataract patients with no ocular comorbidity were operated from August 1999 to January 2001; 75 patients were implanted with monofocal IOLs, and 78 with multifocal IOLs.

Methods: Assessments were made preoperatively (t1), 3 months after first-eye surgery (t2), and 3 months after second-eye surgery (t3). Primary outcomes were obtained by ophthalmic tests, whereas secondary outcomes were examined by interviews.

Main outcome measures: Primary outcomes consisted of near and distance visual acuity (VA). Secondary outcomes related to spectacle dependence, vision-related functioning, and patient satisfaction.

Results: At t3, multifocal IOLs showed significantly better uncorrected near VA than monofocal IOLs (P<0.01) and an increase in quality ratings of unaided near vision between t1 and t3 (on a scale of 1-5: 1.6 at t1 vs. 2.9 at t3, P<0.001). At t2 and t3, patients with multifocal IOLs were more likely to "never" or "only now and then" wear spectacles for near and distance than patients with monofocal IOLs (at t3, 42.7% multifocal vs. 21.6% monofocal for near [P = 0.002] and 75.0% multifocal vs. 46.2% monofocal for distance [P = 0.001]). On a 0- to 15-point scale, monofocal IOL patients showed fewer complaints from cataract symptoms, including halos and distorted vision, at t3 (1.2 monofocal vs. 2.1 multifocal [P = 0.002]). Satisfaction related to preoperative expectations was similar in the monofocal and multifocal groups. The perceived quality of corrected near vision had the strongest relationship with patient satisfaction (beta = 0.22; 95% confidence interval: 0.060-0.523). Sociodemographics, ESI, and neuroticism did not predict patient satisfaction.

Conclusions: Overall, patient satisfaction did not differ between the groups of monofocal and multifocal IOLs. Independent of ESI or neuroticism scores, success of both IOLs depends on preoperative expectations and postoperative quality of aided near vision. This article contains additional online-only material available at .

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular
  • Aged
  • Eyeglasses
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular*
  • Lenses, Intraocular*
  • Male
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Presbyopia / surgery*
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity